The new Winspear Opera House in Dallas redefines the essence of an opera house for the twenty first century, breaking down barriers to make opera more accessible for a wider audience. Organisationally, the Winspear creates a transparent, publicly welcoming series of lobby spaces, which wrap around the rich red glass drum of the 2,200-seat auditorium. Entered beneath a lower canopy, the transition from the Grand Plaza through the foyer into the auditorium is designed to heighten the drama of attending a performance. Vertical sliding glass panels moving the full length of the east façade allow the building with its café and restaurant to be fully opened up. The auditorium creates a sense of intimacy with the performers. Working with Theatre Projects, a horseshoe plan combined with the dramatic vertical stacking of its seating balconies ensure that the audience is as close as possible to the stage. Intimacy is further reinforced by emphasising the balcony fronts, with their white gold finish highlighted against the rich dark red interior.

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 2003
  • Completion: 2009
  • Client: AT+T Performing Arts Center

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